Lesson 3 Using Automated Systems in the Greenhouse
Interest Approach zThink about your household chores. Dusting, sweeping, doing the dishes and laundry. How long would it take for you to do all of your chores? What if your computer could do some or all of it for you? How much would you want to invest in a system like this? Think about this as you learn about using automated systems in greenhouses.
Student Learning Objectives z1. Discuss the advantages of automated systems. z2. Identify automated systems involved in planting. z3. Identify automated systems involved in moving plants in the greenhouse. z4. Identify automated systems involved in watering plants.
Terms zAutomated pot fillers zAutomated seeders zAutomated transplanters zCapillary mats zConveyor belt system zDrip irrigation zEbb and flood
What are some advantages of automated systems? zAutomated systems incorporate technological developments in the production of greenhouse crops. yThe labor involved in propagating, potting, moving, growing, and harvesting greenhouse crops is intensive. Automated systems can greatly reduce labor costs.
yAutomated systems also allow for the management of much larger greenhouse operations.
What types of automated systems are used in planting processes? zAutomated systems speed the planting and transplanting process. Automated pot fillers are used to fill pots with medium. The medium is lightly packed, and the pots are stacked or move down a conveyor for planting.
Automated Pot Filler Courtesy, Interstate Publishers, Inc.
yAutomated seeders permit the sowing of entire flats or plug trays in a few moments. The flats or trays move down a conveyor to a germination room or are taken right to the greenhouse. yAutomated transplanters remove small plants from plug trays and transplant them directly to pots.
What systems are used in moving plants in the greenhouse? zOne of the most labor-intensive tasks in the greenhouse is the transporting of plants. Conveyor belt systems are used to move plants from one area of the greenhouse to another.
yTray mechanization, first developed in Holland, has grown in popularity in the U.S. Individual trays or palletized benches that hold 100 pots or more roll on a series of rails from one area to another.
What automated systems are used in watering plants? zAlthough hand watering is the most reliable method of watering, automated systems permit the watering of thousands of plants in a short period of time. yTypes of automated systems xSpaghetti tubing xDrip irrigation
ySpaghetti tubing is an automated system that involves small tubes connected to a main line. The end of each small tube is placed in a pot, and when functioning, dribbles water onto the medium. One advantage to spaghetti tubing is the flowers and foliage stay dry.
yDrip irrigation consists of a system like spaghetti tubing but it differs in that it provides a slow steady drip. Drip irrigation is commonly used with hanging baskets. The advantage of drip irrigation is it wastes less water and fertilizer than spaghetti tubing.
Review/Summary zWhat are some advantages of automated systems? zWhat types of automated systems are used in planting processes? zWhat are some advantages of automated systems? zWhat automated systems are used in watering plants?